WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 16, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), an on-going innovator and leader in the digital space, today launched a new digital extension to their award-winning Starwood Preferred Guest(R) (SPG(R)) loyalty program by tapping into location-based social networking. Starting today, guests can earn valuable Starpoints(R) and Free Resort Night Awards for foursquare activity at Starwood hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries. This further allows for hotels to engage with guests and reward SPG members for their geo-social behavior, leveraging Starpoints as a form of "social currency." To get started, members can visit spg.com/socialcheckins to link their SPG and foursquare accounts.
SPG members can now earn bonus Starpoints by checking in via foursquare with a confirmed reservation at one of more than 1000 Starwood hotels and resorts around the world. Plus, every day throughout the month of May, a Free Resort Night Award will be hidden across one of Starwood hotels and resorts, to be unlocked daily by one lucky check in. Foursquare check-ins will also serve as an entry into SPG's grand prize giveaway to win a five-night resort getaway plus airfare. In August, new bonus opportunities will be introduced on an ongoing basis, allowing Starwood to optimize foursquare specials by brand or region of the world.
Every month, the SPG member with the greatest number of foursquare check-ins across all Starwood hotels will be declared the SPG Mayor. In addition to status and special SPG perks, the Mayor will be interviewed and featured within the specials landing page and will also be asked to contribute travel tips to the SPG foursquare tips page, foursquare.com/spginsider.
"This new partnership between innovators redefines the 'check-in' for SPG members, enabling rewarding experiences beyond their hotel stays," said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest. "This is yet another example of Starwood's ongoing commitment to build deeper relationships with our members worldwide in ways that are relevant to their lives."
With the launch of the social currency program and the recent expansion of a company-wide social media infrastructure, encompassing more than 1,000 properties, nine brands, 125,000 employees in 100 countries, all operating under one consistent strategy, Starwood continues to be an innovator and first in capitalizing on the digital space to transform the guest experience.
"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Starwood on what will be one of the widest reaching loyalty integrations on any location-based service," said Tristan Walker, Director of Business Development for foursquare. "Foursquare is focused on helping businesses reward loyal customers, and few companies truly understand customer loyalty like Starwood, so the partnership is a natural fit."
SPG membership is free and guests can begin earning Starpoints starting with their first stay. Travelers who are not yet SPG members can join the award-winning loyalty program during any stay at a Starwood hotel or resort. For more details on the program visit spg.com/socialcheckins or spg.com/foursquare to learn about the launch offer and new monthly SPG Mayor program.
The SPG program's breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates at the world's most sought after collection of hotels, reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999. By creating a program centered on its members, SPG has developed the most passionate and knowledgeable membership base in the hotel loyalty space. Through its use of new technologies and innovative channels such as SPG.com, SPG.com/stayconnected, SPG.com/flights and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at over 1,000 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries, No Blackouts on hundreds of airlines, and once in a lifetime experiences available through SPG Moments at spg.com/moments, the program has proven to be a big draw for the world's most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage for Starwood. For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit SPG.com or call (877) - STARWOOD.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1051 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.